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Rep. Sewell Delivers $13.6M to MAX for maintenance facility, electric buses

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From left: Chair of the BJCTA Board of Directors Theodore Smith; U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell; BJCTA board member Roderick Evans and BJCTA Executive Director/CEO Charlotte Shaw. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

By Ryan Michaels

The Birmingham Times

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell presented a $13.6 million check to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) that will go toward a new maintenance facility and electric buses.

The funding comes out of a possible $400 million in federal money heading to Alabama from the $1 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden last year.

Improving transit throughout within Birmingham is a key part of bringing the state into the 21st century, said Sewell, outside Birmingham Central Station downtown.

Transit is an “everyday necessity,” the congresswoman added.

“There’s nothing more important than being able to get to your job, to get to work, to get to school, to get to your dental appointments…and I believe that public transportation in Birmingham and Jefferson County should be the best that it possibly can be,” Sewell said.

Charlotte Shaw, BJCTA’s executive director and CEO, said Sewell has been “instrumental in ensuring that” the transit authority gets its “fair shake” from federal transit dollars and thanked the congresswoman for the money she has helped secure.

“I love seeing those zeros, and I know this is not going to be the last time that she comes because she is truly a supporter, and she truly works on behalf of the citizens of the state of Alabama, and especially transit,” Shaw said.

News of the funding comes just about a month since BJCTA began service on Birmingham Xpress, a new bus rapid transit line which runs in an 11-mile east-west corridor across the city.